Czechoslovakia was established in 1918 as a national state of the
Czechs and Slovaks. Although these two peoples were closely related,
they had undergone different historical experiences.
Despite their separate strands of development, both Czechs and Slovaks
struggled against a powerful neighbor that threatened their very
existence. The unity of the Czech and Slovak people in the Great
Moravian Empire was brief. From the beginning of the tenth century
and for almost a millennium, the two peoples followed separate courses.
Prague was a major European cultural center prior to the Communist
era, and Czech intellectuals and artists have made numerous and
significant contributions to art, literature, and music.